Fashion, Life

Being a new blogger in 2017

Floral and denim for summer

Recently I’ve not been able to shake off the feeling that I am very, very late for something, and that something is blogging. Before I finally took the plunge and just did it, I’d been wanting to start Sophar So Good (although lol there were definitely a variety of name ideas that came before that) for around 3 or 4 years – but I didn’t, and now it’s 2017, and everyone and their dog has a blog.

Sorry to go off topic already, but is that true, anyone? Are there any dogs with blogs? Enough of them seem to have Instagram so I’m sure there must be a canine blogger or two out there by now.

Even as a reader it’s obvious to me (I’m sure its even more so if you were in the thick of it) that blogging has changed drastically over the years, and now as a newbie I’m constantly struck by just how impossible it is to ‘catch up’.

Florals and DenimFloral blouse and denim skirt

This might sound weird, but something I’ve always found interesting to do is go back to the first ever post of a blog I enjoy reading, just to see how they started out. And yes, if there isn’t an Archives section I will literally go through a million pages clicking ‘Older’ over and over again until I get to the earliest post I can find. Since I’m currently publishing the posts that will one day be my early ones, I just think it’s really fascinating to see how someone’s work has evolved. (Sorry if you are a blogger and one day you could see that someone had read like your first 10 posts even though you’ve been blogging for 5 years or whatever…that might have been me.)

Anyway, in a lot of cases, those first posts are a fair few years ago and are along the lines of ‘Hi! I don’t know if anyone will ever read this lol but welcome to my first blog post, I’ve decided to give this a go so look out for more posts from me soon! Bye xxx’ or an iPhone photo of a lipstick and a couple of hundred words about the search for the perfect red.

Floral blouse and denim for summerFlorals denim and sliders

Fast forward to 2017 and blogging is slick, it’s incredibly professional looking and the gulf between a beginner and someone who has been doing it for years feels too enormous to cross. You see beautifully curated content and photos that wouldn’t look out of place in a glossy magazine and your first thought has to be okay, well I’m not in the Maldives, I don’t have my own photographer and I sure as hell don’t have a spare few grand for that outfit, so how can I ever be part of this?!

For the most part, of course, the changes in blogging are hugely positive and I’m a big fan of the shiny new stuff as well as the more old school posts, but it means that when you’re just starting out, being a ‘proper blogger’, whatever that even means, feels a world away and completely unattainable. This isn’t just about the old relatability debate, although I’m sure we can discuss that properly another time, because I actually think it’s fantastic that the boundaries of blogger content creation have been pushed so far, and power to those girls and guys who have been able to produce such beautiful work. It’s also about the vast amount of blogs out there already, the huge numbers of followers associated with some of those blogs, and the feeling of being behind already when you’ve only just started.

When you start a blog in 2017 it feels like you have to sort of skip a phase that supposedly every other blogger had. The one where you pose in a Miss Selfridge outfit in your uni bedroom and take photos on self timer on your phone. The one where you write 300 words about your day shopping and lunch at costa coffee. When I was starting Sophar So Good I felt that I had to catch up immediately (which is impossible), or I had to accept that I was a failure.

You see, pretty much everything feels out of reach when blogging is a discipline that is well over a decade old now and there are such a huge number of people doing a really really good job of it. Blogging IS a saturated market, there’s no getting around it. That absolutely does not mean that other people shouldn’t get involved, because they should – if you want to do it, then go for it! But it does mean that being realistic, not everyone is going to be the next Zoella. It does mean that it will get harder every year to stand out.

Florals and denim outfitTop – Topshop | Skirt – Next | Sandals – Primark | Sunnies – Primark

I almost didn’t post this outfit, for example. It’s quite a nice outfit (in my opinion anyway or I probably wouldn’t have worn it), but it’s not a fantastic outfit and that doesn’t feel good enough. It doesn’t feel blogger enough or different enough; it’s just a denim skirt and a floral blouse, so it’s hardly the height of fashion, and maybe if I want to ‘catch up’, which apparently I’m so hellbent on doing, it’s not enough.

So you’re the new girl, arriving at a massive school towards the end of the academic year and you don’t have all the equipment yet and you don’t know what anyone is talking about because you’re still trying to get to grips with the most basic lesson and you’re wearing a top you got last week in the New Look sale but it looks like everyone is wearing the latest designer collections at this school. It’s intimidating, it feels like you’ll never get anywhere, and if you’re as much of a perfectionist as I am, it can be disheartening.

But don’t worry; the good thing about this analogy is, of course, that people are essentially nice, and there just so happen to be some of the loveliest ones ever at this school. The others have been there all different lengths of time. There are some people who have been there six months and they’re also still on the very first lesson. There are some people who have been there a year and it seems like a lot of people know them and they talk to you often and make you feel welcome, telling you that they like your top and they also bought one last week in the New Look sale. And there are some who have been around for years and they’re quite far ahead of you and they seem to be getting As in every lesson and someone has paid them to talk about the shoes they’re wearing, but they make an effort to tell you they like what you’re doing anyway – so in time, you’ll probably find your place here.

Topshop frilled blouseSummer floral and denimFloral top denim skirt outfit

Photos: Beth Atkins

I’m a sociable gal, so I’d love it if you followed me on Instagram | Twitter | Bloglovin

39 thoughts on “Being a new blogger in 2017”

  1. Love this post and totally get what you mean! I started mine last year but really devoted more time this year and it can feel like we’ve missed out on a lot, but each blog is different and it’d be boring if we all started in the same way and churned out the same/similar content! I love your blog and your outfit posts! ❤️

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  2. I feel you girl! I have days where I feel like giving up on blogging, everything’s already been covered so what can I bring to the table? Who knows but I enjoy it so that’s good enough for me haha. Let’s meet up soon! x

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  3. I always love trying to figure out exactly where you are in Norwich for your photoshoots hehe! I definitely agree with you about the gulf between “newbie” and “pro” bloggers – I’ve been blogging for about a year now and I still feel like I have a long way to go in terms of my theme and my photography before I can really call myself a true blogger! I think you were absolutely right to post this outfit, you look gorgeous and definitely good enough! Keep going, there is room in the blogging world for everyone!

    Abbey 😘 http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

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  4. I felt the same way when I started blogging last year.. But after a while i realized trying to catch up just wasn’t my style. I eventually just settled on writing whatever i wanted and I have built quite the community and met a lot of people over the past year! 🙂

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  5. You just made me go back to my first ever blog post for a chuckle! You could definitely tell that I read blogs but the photo quality is awful. I remember I used to write huge chunks of text and then chuck loads of photos at the bottom of the post.

    I LOVE your blog, you definitely shouldn’t worry. Most of us don’t have photographers and exotic locations to take perfect photos in, I think us smaller bloggers rely more on our personalities and being true to ourselves. I love your style and always look forward to seeing what outfits you’ve put together (I’m always very jealous!)

    There are definitely a hell of a lot of bloggers out there and I love catching up with all of the big stars, swooning over their photos and feeling slightly envious at their success, but I also adore all of my favourite smaller blogs. Bloggers that I feel I know, that I chat to online, that share gorgeous clothes that I can buy myself from the high street.

    Blogging is whatever you want it to be and there’s nothing wrong with being a small fish in a big pond. I realised that a few years ago when I decided to start writing for myself and for people in my local area who want to know about the best cake shops and places to visit in the North – I forgot about being a carbon copy blogger and started to think of myself more of a North East ambassador and writer. Find your niche, do what makes you happy and forget what everyone else is doing.

    I am waffling, I have no idea where I’m going with this .. but I honestly think your blog is awesome and I love reading it!

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  6. I love how honest you’ve been in this post! I’m glad i aren’t the only one who looks at peoples archives to see their older posts! I’ve been blogging for two years now and I still feel new to it all, there is so much to learn and so many others doing it. The one thing that experience has taught me is that you don’t have to be like everybody else, you don’t have to be in the Maldives and wear nothing, but expensive brands to be a blogger; you have to be you. Part of the joy of having a blog is being able to write about whatever you want to write about. I personally love this outfit, and think you look stunning! Keep going lovely, there’s a place for everyone!xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

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  7. I completely get where you are coming from, and the only advice that makes sense is to just be yourself. I love this outfit as long as you are true to your self you will do great. Don’t let it get you down, your photos are brilliant, your content is fantastic and your style is lovely xxx

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

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  8. You put all my thoughts into words, it’s not an easy thing to start and a lot of time it feels like your just talking to an empty room but I guess you have to enjoy talking to an empty room at first haha

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  9. This is such a lovely post – I’ve just discovered your blog and I’m a fan! I’ve been blogging for many years, and still find it a struggle to ‘keep up’ – so I can’t imagine the pressure if you’ve just started. Also, this outfit is great – so something I’d wear!

    Milly
    mini-adventures.com

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  10. Girl this post was so interesting to read, I’ve been blogging for nearly six years and I still feel the ‘need’ to catch up, everyone is just absolutely smashing it out of the park (which is amazing but SO intimidating how slick and professional some peoples blogs are). I’ve learnt to not compare myself over the years and just focus on you! I love your blog and think you’ll do SO well – just stay authentic and carry on doing what you do best, being you! ❤

    Hayley xo
    http://www.frockmeimfamous.com

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  11. Ahh please don’t put too much pressure on yourself to ‘catch up’ – you’re doing amazingly! I’ve been blogging for over two years now (and am suddenly paranoid that you went back and read my first post which was definitely of the ‘hey read my blog for some more posts’ lines haha!) and I still feel like I’m catching up – I think it’s just an industry where you’re always going to be striving to be better so there’s never really an end point where you would feel like you could stop and relax. And definitely don’t worry about posting an outfit you don’t think is ‘blogger’ enough because the whole point is your blog is about you and people will read it because they like you 🙂
    Amy xx
    http://www.callmeamy.co.uk

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  12. This is wonderful! I totally understand and sympathize with absolutely everything you’re saying! I know the fear of wondering if you’ll ever “catch up” but I think we will for sure, as long as we stay dedicated, true to ourselves, and nice to each other! I think everyone who really wants a blog can succeed, especially if they put a little piece of themselves into it, which it seems like you do 🙂 you also are a very good writer! I enjoyed reading this and can’t wait to check out some more of your stuff 🙂 xo

    -Helene ❤
    https://angelspartaness.com/

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  13. I know what you’re saying about catching up! I feel like it’s harder to keep up blogging as time goes on. It’s not because one’s content isn’t great, but that geologically you can be at a disadvantage and without a photographer/amazing photography you are totally out of the game. We live in a world that needs visually pleasing images, and I feel without that we are just left behind.

    I wish I joined blogging when taking photos of myself in the mirror is still a thing!!

    Heba xx

    The Heba

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  14. Such a great post and summarises exactly how I feel 😊 I have been blogging for just over a year now. I can’t wait to read more of your posts and I am so glad you took the plunge. 💖

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  15. I loved Hayley’s point above- even bloggers who’ve been blogging for years are now struggling because they feel the need to “catch up”. You’re doing great and a genuine voice always shines through the hubbub! xx

    rhymeandribbons.com

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  16. I can totally identify with this post! I first started blogging in 2011 and did fairly well. But I had a crisis of confidence and after 5 years, I deleted it from the face of the internet. Not my smartest idea! But now, after lots of deliberation, I’ve got back into it and am most definitely at the bottom of the blogger pile. Thank god we enjoy it, hey?! Lauren, http://www.todayiam.uk

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  17. Ah Sophie this is super interesting. I absolutely see where you are coming from – it is super saturated and there is a pressure to quickly find a style and stick to it, rather than experiment over the years (some of my earlier posts are hilarious!) Annoyingly I decided to delete a few of them and I wish I didn’t now! It is interesting to see how people grow. I absolutely 100% believe you are going to do so, so well gal – I love your blog / writing / snaps / errythang… Just gotta keep on at it 🙂 Immy x

    http://www.immymay.com

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  18. I’ve been blogging for 5 years and I still feel like I’m playing catch up. It’s a heavily saturated market and I find it hard to stand out myself. There is a new bread of blogger who simply uses ‘Instagram’, to me that isn’t blogging but it is a whole other level to saturate the market further. I think there is room for everyone in blogging, I find it to be my only creative outlet and I’ve met so many friends through it 🙂 Good luck and keep up the awesome work.

    Lauren x | bylaurenjane

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  19. There was SO much of this post I loved and that resonated for me…
    I have been a long time blog reader (I too used to love doing that going back to the beginning posts thing). I used to blog, then on and off, and now TRYING again, but I don’t seem to find *time* to post – because now, unlike when I blogged back in 2011, a post weighs so much more – not just me rambling and going with it.
    It’s all so slick – which makes for great reading – but hard to keep up (or catch up because you’re right!)
    And then I’m like, why am I bothering?! I don’t have anyting to add or say that’s useful… but I love the blogging world. Reading and being part of it. So why aren’t I trying to get in there?!

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  20. Hi, Sophie and welcome to the blogging world! My name is McKenzie but most of my gals around here call me McKenz and despite having been a blogger for a year and a half now I feel the same as you do in many ways. Being 16 as a blogger and trying to get out there is very hard especially in terms of getting out there and being noticed amongst bloggers that are full time with it and live in a big fancy house with three kids if you know what i mean. I too love stumbling across a bloggers very first post and it is my first post that I go to when visiting a blog as well. It just seems like the blogger in their rawest most vulnerable time. I came across your blog looking for girls to engage with and follow today and it seems I have stumbled across a very interesting one here. I too want to see girls like you and I succeed and wish you the absolute best look. Just followed you on here and insta! Feel free to check me out @styledbymckenz / http://www.styledbymckenz.com if you’d like! 🙂

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  21. Every single word of this is spot on! There’s so much pressure to be taking perfect pictures and writing lengthy posts that it sometimes feels like the fun is taken out of it. I’ve learnt that it’s all about writing what you feel strongly about and then if others like it too that’s great.! And although you don’t think your outfit is blog worthy, I think you look great and I really want your top!

    http://limeafterlime.com

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  22. Blogging and keeping up with this blogging world/community can be so daunting.
    I’ve been blogging for years and still don’t feel like I fit anywhere. My photos aren’t always edited, I don’t own many blogging props, I don’t have a niche… but I’m okay with that.

    It can really feel like you’re a teeny fish in a humongous ocean but that doesn’t make you any less important. I’m still trying to learn how to be my own kind of blogger and I’m having fun doing it.

    Great post x

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  23. haha I love how you go back and people’s older posts to see how they’ve grown (although saying that…please don’t go and look at mine because they are so cringe worthy haha).

    I still feel pretty ‘behind’ with blogging as well and I completely get what you mean about overthinking your outfit because I do that all the time! I don’t feel like a lot of my outfits really merit a post but at the same time, I think I’d love it if more people just did what they wear in a day and it wasn’t an outfit with like a $4,000 bag.

    Anyway, I like to think that we’ll all find our place in the blogging world as well, just like the real world 🙂

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

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  24. I love love love this post! There are days where my mind gets so puzzled because there are SO many bloggers out there. Millions and millions. It scares me a little, to be honest.

    I’m a new blogger too, and I’ve wanted to start a blog like 5 years ago! Sometimes I really make myself mad because maybe if I started it 5 years ago, I’d probably have a much better following. But maybe since we both held off for so long, it was meant to be and something good will come out of it!

    Nicole | http://www.nicolegramcko.com

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  25. This post spoke to me on so many levels! I’m a new blogger..less than a month. I’ve been contemplating jumping in for many wasted years…finally I acted. It’s been quite a learning curve, but we all have to start somewhere. Hopefully, one day I will look back on my first post and remember the excitement of not knowing where it could take me.

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  26. It’s never too late to start a blog and you’re doing so well I wouldn’t doubt yourself 🙂 I think you’re right too, people are essentially nice and it’s a positive community to be a part of. I can’t imagine not having my blog or YouTube channel now! Lovely post.

    Ella xx

    http://www.ellaryder.com

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  27. This is 100% how I feel, despite blogging for two years already! I had never entered the community before, just blogged for myself and I NEVER realised how seriously it was taken, now I feel like I’ve wasted the last two years. I adore your blog and how well written your posts always are, such a joy to read x

    Rachel | kyvbey.blogspot.com

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  28. This is such a good post! So much insight and honesty into a topic so many people avoid. I think there’s room for another blog on the block, despite what it might sometimes feel like and ESPECIALLY when you have posts as awesome as this one 🙂

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  29. I couldn’t agree more with this! But all you can do is not focus on stats or people but forced in the ‘whys’ you started and just enjoy it 🙂

    Xx

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